American healthcare: no conscience, no empathy

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Vertex received approval for a new two-drug therapy called Orkambi, designed to treat 8,500 cystic fibrosis patients over the age of 12 who have the most common mutation for this disease. Vertex has priced this drug at $259,000 per patient annually and, not surprisingly, many are outraged. One patient said ““It’s egregious, this is more than five times the annual salary of the average American family. How can they in good conscience charge that much? Continue reading

Why pharma is so in love with TV spots (truth nobody talks about)

KEY TAKEAWAY: Eyeforpharma survey’s findings show that investment in DTC may be increasing but its effectiveness is decreasing. Numerous studies have shown that DTC TV spots are less than 20% effective in driving patients into their doctors to ask for an Rx.  So the question becomes “why?” are DTC marketers so in love with TV? Continue reading

How thousands of cancer patients were prescribed a drug that couldn’t help them

LA TIMES: The Food and Drug Administration frequently speeds experimental medicines to sale by approving them before scientific evidence shows they work.  For a drug called Tarceva, the FDA’s decisions resulted in thousands of lung cancer patients taking a drug that could not help them. Twelve years passed before the agency warned doctors in October that Tarceva only worked for a small number of patients with a rare gene mutation. Continue reading